BY STEVEN WINE
MIAMI (AP) — A group led by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Quogue Capital investment fund founder Wayne Rothbaum has halted its bid to buy the Miami Marlins, a person familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday.
The person confirmed the decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the groups that have been involved in negotiations aren’t commenting publicly. Massachusetts businessman Tagg Romney was part of the Bush-Rothbaum group before pulling out more than a month ago, the person said.
The latest twists in the Marlins sale saga leave groups led by former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and by South Florida businessman Jorge Mas still in contention to buy the franchise.
Marlins president David Samson declined to comment on the status of sale efforts, which became public in February.
Major League Baseball owners meet next week in Chicago, where the Marlins situation may be discussed. At the All-Star Game a month ago in Miami, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said the team soon expected to choose a winning bid, and each group had offered about the same amount of money.
Jeter’s group bid about $1.3 billion to buy the team from Jeffrey Loria but has not yet raised the money needed. Loria bought the Marlins for $158.5 million in 2002 from John Henry.
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